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I'm curious as to why there is a standard +/- 20 points in the Adjusted Hit List Factor between AL and NL teams. First, isn't some portion of whatever difference there is between the leagues already taken into account in the 3rd Order Win Percentage, which accounts for opponents? Second, how is the 20 point margin decided upon? It hasn't changed since the beginning of the season, and it is not transparently anything more than a crude adjustment. Third, shouldn't the 20 point margin be adjusted as a team plays more interleague games? If an AL team gets a 20 point bump for playing in the more difficult league, shouldn't that bump decrease as more of its results come against NL opponents? From the outside, the Adjusted Hit List Factor appears to be very imprecise. Thanks in advance for any explanation.
As another partial season ticket holder, I'll admit that I have not been using my tickets over the last couple weeks. It's not because I've stopped caring or because I'm a bandwagon fan -- they've been my first love before and during this horrid 20 year run. It's just that I can't take this collapse. It's like a solar eclipse that I dare not stare at directly. I'll check the score a couple times each night, but even if they're winning I won't turn the game on because I'm 90% confident how it will end. I'll still obsess over every move during the off-season and talk myself into believing when next season rolls around, but I just can't bear to witness this debacle.
There have been some dark days for Pirate fans over the last twenty years, but right now this is the darkest it's been for myself as a Pirate fan since Andy Van Slyke was sitting in the outfield at Fulton County. Twenty years of losing is a damn long time.
As a Pirates fan, the early reports that Alen Hanson was included in the trade caused my heart to stop beating for a few seconds. Thank goodness that was quickly refuted.
It looks like the aggregate wild card odds in each league are 51%, when the aggregate should be 200% in each league, given the two wild card teams. Not sure when this error entered the system.
Minor correction, that the Pirates did not avoid a sweep last night be scoring off Chapman. The Pirates took 2 of 3 from the Reds.
The number of guys on this list with connections to the Pirates is depressing, and even more so because it doesn't include the biggest disappointments of the past twenty years (e.g., Kris Benson, John Van Benschoten, Bryan Bullington).
This is great, but how do I find it on the site without bookmarking it? I'm sure it's available, but I tried to find it last week and gave up. Along those lines, I'm sure there's a lot of other good stuff on the site that remains hidden because of the unfriendliness of the site's layout.
What can Pirates fans expect out of Pedro Alvarez? I don't know that I would call him a bust at this point, but I think everyone thought he'd be producing at a higher level by now. What can the Pirates do to get him back on track? Thanks
Assuming that Marte's approach isn't fixed next season, how much consideration do the Pirates give to calling him up next June? Are the combination of his bat and glove enough to force his way into the outfield? If so, where do they stick him? Thanks
What is the path for Marte to Pittsburgh? When does he get there, and where does he fit in the outfield?
How would Marte perform if the Pirates called him up today? I'm not necessarily advocating that move, and he still has to learn how to take a walk, but is there any chance that he would perform better than Ludwick/G.Jones/Presley down the stretch? Would it hurt his development all that much? Thanks
Beyond his numbers, have you heard any scouting reports regarding Pedro Alvarez? He could be the key to the Pirates' season, but he looked rather lost at the plate earlier this year. Thanks
How far away is Tony Sanchez from the majors? Could he see a June call-up next season, or is he more likely to be with the Pirates in 2013?
Any concerns about Von Rosenberg given his start? How does he project as a starter?
I doubt that the Pirates will be significant sellers at the deadline this year. Huntington is in the final year of his contract (unless he was given another secret extension), and a late-season swoon would all but guarantee that he would be sacrificed, regardless of whether those moves were proper in a vacuum. He may trade a few pieces away, such as Maholm, Doumit, and/or Overbay, only because they would seem to have ready-made replacements: Lincoln, Snyder, and Pearce/Jones. But if Huntington were to trade off any of the young and promising Pirates, such as Hanrahan, it would only feed the narrative in town that a player shouldn't want to succeed unless he wants to be traded away.
Furthermore, it is overwhelmingly in the Pirates' interest to pursue .500 as a goal, even if it would be meaningless in other situations. The biggest limitation on the Pirates currently is their $40-$50 million payroll. The payroll will only increase when revenues increase (or until the team is sold to a new owner with deeper pockets, which isn't happening). Pittsburgh is a great baseball town, as evidenced by the fact that millions of people still show up for games despite a generation of losing. Yet there is still a great deal of apathy and skepticism about the team. If the Pirates put up a .500 record, it would actually shock the city and unleash much of the dormant enthusiasm. Ticket sales would increase, revenues would rise, and so would the payroll. Simply put, a .500 record should very much be the team's goal this season.
I'm greatly enjoying this series. Many thanks to Charlie Reliford, Larry Young, and David Laurila for putting it together.
I used to umpire for local youth leagues -- so this is by no means meant to describe how MLB umpires do their work -- and we were trained to set up with our eyes right at the upper-inside corner of the strike zone for each pitch. That way you at least had the upper and inner boundaries down cold. By observation, that seems to be how they set up in MLB as well. At the same time, when you're an umpire wearing an "innie" chest protector (with the protector under your shirt), the catcher is your first line of defense from getting killed, so you see many umpires that subtly track where the catcher is -- shifting their bodies a bit to the outside if the catcher is outside, or lightly placing a hand on the catcher's back to move with the catcher. Essentially, if the catcher is set up on the outside corner, the umpire may shade his own placement that way and away from his typical set up on the upper-inside corner. That shift of position could explain a shift in the strike zone.
Relatedly, when umpires used "outie" chest protectors (the big balloon protectors), they set up in the middle of the plate with their eyes on the upper boundary of the strike zone. With the bigger protector, they're less reliant on the catcher for protection and can set up in the same place for each pitch.
Again, this is from my own amateur experience and observation of MLB, and an MLB umpire would offer infinitely better insight.
As for the "fame" component of Trammell's case, when I was a kid in the 1980s, I thought Trammell had it in spades. I'm a Pirates fan, but I have relatives in Detroit. I have a distinct memory of a visit to Detroit around 1989 or 1990, when I actually saw Trammell one Sunday at church. I was blown away. Certainly as a kid I knew that Ripken and Ozzie were great shortstops of the day, but I had Trammell right up there with them. From the perspective of a nine year old who was obsessed with baseball but had never heard of Bill James, Trammell sure looked like a future Hall of Famer to me. JAWS only confirms it.